So, here I am once again cooking and it makes me happy. I wanted to continue to post because creatively it helps me and gives me an outlet. I wanted to continue to do healthy recipes and this recipe falls in that category. Please forgive me if I do not post often but I do need some time to create and then put these recipes into electronic format. You would think that in this age of technology I would find something other than my hand written food notebook to facilitate getting the recipes ready to post but that has not happened yet. Maybe somewhere in the universe there is something that I could do a sort of “Vulcan Mind Meld” with my computer without attaching it to my brain but we will just have to wait and see.
For the most part, I have always considered turkey chili to be a bit on the dry side and that is because of the meat. The challenge became how to infuse a bit more flavor without a ton of fat and I was able to combine just one Italian sausage with some chicken stock to attain this goal. The sausage provided just enough of the rendered fat that I needed to help the turkey along to its maximum potential and the chicken stock is a trick I use for one of my spaghetti sauce recipes to bring out the best in the vegetables. I hope you like this version of chili. It is a bit lighter and still very tasty chili.
One Sweet Turkey Chili
Gary Bechard – The Well Fed Cyclist
Serves 4 – 6
1 lb – Ground turkey (I used the ground turkey breast)
1 – Sweet Italian sausage (I bought a 5 pack and froze the other 4)
15 oz can – White Cannelli (Navy) beans, drained and rinsed
28 oz can – Diced tomatoes
2 cups – Chicken broth
1 – Medium jalapeno pepper, cored and fine diced
1/2 – Red bell pepper, diced
1/2 – Green bell pepper diced
1/2 – Large sweet onion, diced
1/4 cup – Chopped cilantro
2 cloves – Garlic, fine chopped
1 tsp – Coarse ground, sea salt
1 tsp – Coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp – Chili powder
1 tsp – Cholula Mexican hot sauce (or a hot sauce of your choice but I find this one has a lot of good flavor)
1 1/2 tsp – Dried Mexican oregano
1/3 tsp – Ground Cumin
1/3 tsp – Smoked paprika
2 – Bay leaves
1 ½ tbsp. – Extra Virgin olive oil (Or, a couple of good turns around the pan will do great)
Construction Instruction –
In a large, heavy 4 to 6 quart pot (I used a ceramic coated cast iron) drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the pan and bring up to heat remembering that olive oil has a fairly low smoke point. When the oil is at temperature, take the skin off of the sausage and brown the meat rendering the fat. To the sausage, add the ground turkey and brown that as well. When the meat is done either remove it to a separate bowl and set aside or push to the sides of the pot leaving the bottom center of the pot open. Into the opening, put the garlic and stir that around for a couple of minutes until it becomes soft, then add in the onions, peppers and sauté those until they a bit soft. Once the vegetables are done mix them in with the ground meat (if you moved your meat to the side add it back in at this time), lower the heat and add the chicken stock. The mixture will look like a shallow sort of soup. Bring this mixture up to a simmer (little bubbles not rolling boil) for about 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. After this you will add in the tomatoes, beans and stir this around until everything is well mixed together. After everything is getting along nicely, add your soft ingredients; salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, hot sauce and, yes, the bay leaves. Let this mixture simmer for another 25 to 30 minutes so that all the flavors marry together well and the sauce reduces a bit.
I served this with freshly baked corn bread or you can do some blue corn tortillas.
The Well Fed Cyclist